After teaching for many years, I’ve noted a few things that make the moment of detachment more difficult for kids who struggle separating.
Here are 5 things NOT to do –
1. Tell your child who is crying or clinging that they’re acting like a baby
At that moment, your child wants nothing more than to BE a baby. Plus, think about it – calling someone crazy doesn’t make them act sane; calling your child a baby doesn’t make them act like a big kid.
2. Promise your child to bring him/her a treat if they don’t cry at drop-off
Crying is just a way of expressing feelings so offering your child a reward later may only make them ashamed if they aren’t able to suppress their feelings.
3. Ask your child a lot of questions in an effort to distract him/her from their anxiety
Sometimes more talking makes people feel more nervous.
4. Insist that your child say goodbye to you
The goal is to make the act of separation as quick and painless as possible. If your child is already looking for something to do, give a quick kiss, “I love you, see you soon,” and exit stage left! If your child is crying and clinging, why make another demand?
5. Hang out in the classroom while your child is sobbing – prolonging the dreaded moment of detachment.
Look folks, permit me to compare kids to horses – they can sense your uneasiness. Also, I’ve been there. I’ve been one of those parents with a child screaming and crying holding onto me with a death grip while the teacher peeled her off of me. I’ve walked away with tears in my eyes. A few years down the road, they won’t want to be seen in public with you. I’ve also been a teacher so I see kids recover quickly after a parent/caregiver leaves. The bottom line is – make it short and sweet. Done~
graphic credit to Rebekah Brock – see her adorable graphics on TPT –